THE SOUL’S DEEPEST CRY
We, as human beings, are not merely a mixture of bones and tendons and organs and flesh. We were brought into being with a soul—a spiritual dimension of our being. That soul within us longs for meaningful connection with God.
Blaise Pascal, the great 17th century French mathematician and philosopher, remarked, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man [person] which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God.”
F.F. Bruce put it this way: “The soul’s deepest thirst is for God Himself, who has made us so that we can never be satisfied without Him.”
Prince Charles confessed the same longing: “There remains in the soul (if I dare use that word) a persistent and unconscious anxiety that something is missing…some ingredient that makes life worth living.”
Because the human composition includes a soul that longs for connection with God, there is a natural pull within us to pray—there is a natural pull within our soul to cry out to God. Even Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of the American Atheists organization, wrote into her personal diary at least half a dozen times, “Somebody, somewhere, love me.” Though denying the existence of God, her soul kept crying out for Him.
Prayer is the means by which a soul cries out to God.
Though there are a variety of types of prayer (including petition, confession, gratitude, and praise), the primary prayer of the human soul is a gut cry for real connection with God.
Jeffrey D. Imbach stresses, “Prayer is essentially the expression of our heart longing for love. It is not so much the listing of our requests but the breathing of our own deepest request, to be united with God as fully as possible.”
E. Stanley Jones offers a wonderful picture of what prayer is about. He says, “Prayer’s like the fastening of the cup to the wounded side of a pine tree to allow the resin to pour into it. You are now nestling up into the side of God—the wounded side, if you will—and you allow His grace to fill you up. You are taking in the very life of God.”
So when your soul nudges you to pray, go ahead and do it. It’s what we were designed to do. It’s what is natural to who we are as human beings.
And it’s what God longs for as well. Bill Hybels offers a suggestion of God’s attitude toward our prayers: “‘Come into My presence,’ says God. ‘Talk to Me. Share all your concerns. I’m keenly interested in you, because I’m your Father. I’m able to help, because all power in heaven and on earth is Mine. And I’m listening very closely, hoping I will hear your voice.’”